• Viewpoint
    EgyptConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Deploying Arab Forces in Syria is not Advisable, nor Possible

    May 10, 2018Radwan Ziadeh

    Over the last few months, President Donald Trump has made announcements that regional states should bear more of the burden of ridding Syria of the so-called I…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Mohammed bin Salman Is Wrong on Palestine

    May 2, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Critics allege that impetuousness and impatience are driving Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s actions and statements. What could also be drivi…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    The Many Challenges of Iraq’s Upcoming Elections

    Transcending ethnic and sectarian divisions could be one of the most significant outcomes of the upcoming Iraqi elections that can transform the currently divi…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    External Actors Complicate Resolving the Yemeni Conflict

    Although the Houthis and the Hadi government show no signs of compromise, Yemen’s conflict continues to drag on largely because external actors are pursuing ag…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A Mysterious Strike Renews Israel-US Coordination in Syria

    Apr 10, 2018Joe Macaron

    The Israeli strike on Iranian assets in Syria last Monday and the imminent US strike on Syria renew the US-Israeli coordination there for the first time since …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Super-Hawks on Iran May Make the US the Biggest Loser

    Apr 10, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    The super-hawks President Trump appointed in his administration may very well get the United States into a conflagration with Iran despite international satisf…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Doubts Surrounding Trump’s Work on GCC Reconciliation

    Apr 9, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Conditions in the Gulf and in Washington do not augur well for Trump-led successful negotiations to resolve the GCC crisis, although all players are making the…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    Pompeo Unlikely to Press for Human Rights in the Arab Region

    In contrast to Tillerson, who raised human rights and democracy concerns in some Arab states, Pompeo is unlikely to do so given his ideology and desire to stay…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Who is John Bolton? A Political Profile of the Next National Security Advisor

    Mar 23, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    With the appointment of John Bolton as national security advisor, the United States risks turning the National Security Council into an echo chamber of hyper-n…

  • Viewpoint
    Saudi ArabiaUS Foreign Policy

    Trump’s Transactional Relationship with Saudi Arabia

    The March 21, 2018 press conference between US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) must rank among the most surreal…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaSecurity and Defense

    Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the Yemeni Hemorrhage

    Mar 20, 2018Imad K. Harb

    It is necessary to point out that the Saudi-led intervention in March 2015 has exacerbated human suffering and underscored the differences between Yemen’s elit…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Many Complications of Returning Islamic State Fighters

    Mar 19, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    As the Islamic State (IS) transforms into a flat organization with autonomous cells around the globe, the foreign fighters returning to their home countries po…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Firing Tillerson Leaves US Diplomacy in Limbo

    Mar 15, 2018Joe Macaron

    Tillerson’s firing comes at a critical time in US foreign policy. New dynamics are emerging in the Trump Administration and the successor Mike Pompeo should ba…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonEnergy and Economics

    A Saudi Comeback to Lebanese Politics?

    Mar 14, 2018Joe Macaron

    Nearly 100 days after his mysterious “captivity” in the Saudi capital, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri visited Riyadh again on February 28. The timing c…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    Who is Mike Pompeo? A Political Profile of the Nominee for US Secretary of State

    Mar 13, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    When considering his policy positions, temperament, and personal relationship with President Trump, Pompeo is almost the polar opposite of outgoing Secretary o…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    Tillerson’s Departure: Implications for Middle East Policy

    Mar 13, 2018Imad K. Harb

    President Donald Trump’s sacking of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has important ramifications for US policy in the Middle East, and specifically toward the …

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfSecurity and Defense

    Strategic Considerations of the UAE’s Role in Yemen

    There are legitimate questions about whether the UAE is interested in keeping Yemen unified and sovereign under a national government recognized by the interna…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantSecurity and Defense

    Will Trump Further Militarize the Arab World?

    Feb 28, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    Under the leadership of President Donald Trump, the Arab world may be poised for increased militarization as he pushes for military sales and it experiences nu…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    US Allies Upstage Tillerson’s Mideast Tour

    Feb 27, 2018Joe Macaron

    Israel and Turkey dominated Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s first expanded high level trip to the Middle East as US foreign policy faces new regional challe…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantEnergy and Economics

    Turkey’s Challenge to Arab Interests in the Horn of Africa

    Feb 22, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkey’s policies and many activities around the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa have added complications to the already complex strategic picture of the Middle…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Is There a US Policy Toward the Kurds in Iraq and Syria?

    Recent tensions between the United States and Turkey over US support for the Syrian Kurds have brought to the forefront the issue of US policy toward the Kurdi…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Can Iran’s Minorities Be Used against the Regime?

    Feb 9, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    The heightened tension and antagonistic discourse between Saudi Arabia and Iran help Tehran legitimize its security policies in the country and to “alert” its …

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarSecurity and Defense

    The US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue: Messages and Implications

    Feb 8, 2018Marwan Kabalan

    The most consequential outcome of the US-Qatar strategic dialogue is the US official declaration of “readiness to work jointly with Qatar to deter and confront…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqEnergy and Economics

    Jordanian-Iraqi Relations on the Mend, but Problems Remain

    Economic necessities and opposition to the so-called Islamic State have brought Jordan and Iraq closer together, but Amman remains concerned about Baghdad’s li…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Fits and Starts Characterize UN Mediation in Yemen, Syria, and Libya

    United Nations diplomacy regarding Yemen, Syria, and Libya may be undergoing a period of fatigue, or perhaps exhaustion, in searching for efficient formulas to…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    An Unsettling Overview of the Middle East in 2018

    It is clear from ongoing developments in the Middle East that the United States and Russia will continue to play a role that meets their own national interests…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfSecurity and Defense

    The Aden Battle and Yemen’s De Facto Partition

    Feb 2, 2018Joe Macaron

    It is clear from ongoing developments in the Middle East that the United States and Russia will continue to play a role that meets their own national interests…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptUS Foreign Policy

    The Middle East Nuclear Picture: Peaceful Programs or Not, Cause for Concern

    Feb 2, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    Focusing solely on the Iranian nuclear program has made Washington oblivious to some significant nuclear developments in other parts of the Middle East.

  • Policy Analysis
    OmanConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Determinants of Oman’s Strategic Position on the Gulf Crisis

    Jan 23, 2018Imad K. Harb

    As Oman seeks to steer a neutral course in the ongoing GCC crisis, Omani decision-makers worry that what happened with Qatar may be justified against their own…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Abdulwahab al-Qassab: Iraq’s Sectarian Parties Will Win Elections

    Religious parties, both Shia and Sunni, are best positioned to win Iraq’s parliamentary elections in 2018. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi cannot escape his sec…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Unsettling Times for Iraqi Kurdistan

    Jan 10, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    The Sulaymaniyah protests last December have revealed a deep split in Iraqi Kurdistan. By pitting Sulaymaniyah against Irbil, Baghdad aims to capitalize on the…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    The Middle East in 2018: A Trump Administration To-Do List

    Jan 9, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    US Middle East priorities in 2018 include Iran, the fate of the two-state solution, and managing instability in Iraq and Syria. US policy confusion and lack of…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    Regime Unity Will Decide the Fate of Iran’s Protests

    Jan 4, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Iranian protesters’ slogans and demands indicate that there is much angst and frustration with the slow pace of political reform, the glacial movement of econo…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaThe GCC

    Costly Mistakes in Saudi Decision-Making in Yemen and Lebanon

    Dec 27, 2017Imad K. Harb

    Saudi Arabia’s mistakes and poor decision-making in Yemen and Lebanon have been at the heart of recent failures to deal with the two countries and have allowed…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptMedia and Technology

    Press Freedom Reversals in Post-Arab Spring Countries

    Dec 18, 2017Sahar Khamis

    Just like the path to democratization and reform has been obstructed or derailed in most of the Arab Spring countries, so has the path to media freedom, in a p…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    Implications of Saleh’s Assassination on Yemen’s Future

    Dec 8, 2017Joe Macaron

    For the Iranian regime, Yemen remains a low-risk investment at Saudi Arabia’s border; and the impression in Tehran is that Saleh’s assassination forced Riyadh’…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarEnergy and Economics

    The GCC’s Future Is in the Balance after Its 38th Summit Meeting

    Dec 7, 2017Imad K. Harb

    The GCC should be preserved despite the failure of its 38th summit meeting in Kuwait and the establishment of a Saudi Arabian-Emirati new political and militar…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    Missing Considerations of the Counterterrorism Alliance

    Nov 29, 2017Imad K. Harb

    The first meeting of the Islamic Military Counterterrorism Coalition, which took place in Riyadh, may have provided recognition of MbS’s leadership of the Musl…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    US Military Planning in the Middle East: Increasing Challenges, Vague Strategies

    Nov 28, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    Uncertainties about US military policy, intentions, and ambitions in the Middle East together with many political challenges and developments increase the conf…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Trump Embraces the Saudi Vision of the Yemen Conflict

    President Trump has adopted the Saudi leadership’s position that the Yemen conflict is a case of Iranian and proxy adventurism that needs to be rolled back and…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    Is Power Trumping Legitimacy in Saudi Arabia?

    Nov 16, 2017Imad K. Harb

    Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Machiavellianism endangers at least three pillars of legitimate rule in Saudi Arabia: royal family consensual decision-making, con…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    US Curbs Saudi Arabia’s Surge in Lebanon

    Nov 14, 2017Joe Macaron

    Clear statements from the White House and the Department of State appear to have curbed the Saudi surge in Beirut and toned down Riyadh’s rhetoric against the …

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Iraq’s Disputed Territories: A Worrisome Achilles’ Heel

    Nov 13, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Two major factors will help shape the future of Iraq’s disputed territories. One is the population dynamic, given the influx of internal refugees, and the othe…

  • Policy Analysis

    Policy Recommendations for the Trump Administration

    Nov 9, 2017Sumaya al-Majdoub

    The last session of the second annual conference of Arab Center Washington DC, held on October 26, 2017, concentrated on policy recommendations for the future.…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    Is Mohammed bin Salman Overplaying His Hand?

    Nov 6, 2017Imad K. Harb

    Mohammed bin Salman may think that consolidating power in his hands will help the kingdom face its challenges, but he would do well to know that sidelining imp…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Amid Regional Chaos, US Seeks Improved Saudi-Iraqi Ties

    Nov 6, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    Despite many pitfalls, the Trump Administration is quite keen on helping to improve relations between Saudi Arabia and Iraq in an effort to contain Iranian inf…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Ankara’s Ambiguous Policy toward a Divided GCC

    Oct 30, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    As a key player in the GCC crisis, Turkey has tried to support Qatar while avoiding potential deterioration in Ankara-GCC relations, which would result in nega…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    Domestic Troubles for the Saudi Arabian Leadership

    Oct 24, 2017Imad K. Harb

    Mohammed bin Salman’s challenge to established norms of governance in Saudi Arabia and the abrupt changes in its economic and social conditions may help pull t…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Kirkuk Battle Is a Watershed Event for Iraq

    The Iraqi central government harnessed domestic and international support to abort the Kurdish referendum for independence, in the process weakening the KRG’s …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranSecurity and Defense

    The Art of (Decertifying) the Deal: Trump’s Iran Strategy and the Nuclear Agreement’s Future

    Oct 17, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    The president’s decertifying the Iran nuclear deal does not terminate US participation in the JCPOA but opens the door to such a move, roils US relations with …

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Will US, Saudi Pressure Deter Hezbollah in Lebanon?

    Oct 12, 2017Joe Macaron

    Given the current status quo in Lebanon, the best American and Saudi pressure can do is to make the country’s political environment unbearable for Hezbollah.

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    The Kurdish Referendum and Cross-Communal Dynamics in Iraq

    While Abadi’s popularity has risen because of his stewardship of the successful anti-Islamic State campaign, his standing could be jeopardized if the crisis ov…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Does Turkey Really Want to Punish Iraqi Kurdistan?

    Oct 3, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkey may feel that it has to impose punitive measures against Iraqi Kurdistan over the referendum but countervailing Turkish domestic political conditions ma…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq’s Kurds Vote to Secede, but Problems Loom

    The widespread disapproval of the Kurdish referendum inside Iraq, the region, and internationally points to potential serious developments for the Kurds and a …

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Strategic Implications of Reopening the Baghdad-Amman Highway

    Sep 29, 2017Joe Macaron

    While pivotal for Jordan’s and Iraq’s economies, the recent re-opening of the Amman-Baghdad highway has strategic and security implications for faraway powers …

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    The Follies and Pitfalls of the Kurdish Referendum

    The Kurdish referendum is a dangerous play with delicate Kurdish and Iraqi politics to shore up KRG President Masood Barzani’s legitimacy in Iraqi Kurdistan.

  • Policy Analysis
    IranInternational Law

    Trump’s United Nations Speech: More of the Same

    Sep 20, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    President Trump’s speech before the UN mixed isolationism and economic nationalism with calls for international consensus building, two irreconcilable position…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfSecurity and Defense

    The US and the GCC: A Steep Learning Curve for President Trump

    Sep 18, 2017Imad K. Harb

    In its first year in office, the Trump Administration must work on remedying its shortcomings on Gulf affairs and strive to safeguard the GCC’s unity as a stra…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Trump Administration’s Wishful Policies in the Yemen Conflict

    Prolonging the Yemeni conflict with unending military assistance to the Saudi-led campaign has been a disaster. The long-suffering Yemeni people deserve a chan…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Troubling Ambiguities in the UAE’s Role in Yemen

    Sep 8, 2017Imad K. Harb

    The UAE’s ambiguous policies in Yemen expose the entire restoration of Yemeni legitimacy to uncertain circumstances, put it and Saudi Arabia at cross purposes,…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Can the Gulf Cooperation Council Survive the Current Crisis?

    The GCC is likely to survive the current crisis, at least on paper, but to become far less relevant as policymaking is driven by younger decision-makers who ha…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    The Popular Mobilization Forces and Iraq’s Next Elections

    Sep 6, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Multiple Shia parties are competing to benefit from the successes of the Popular Mobilization Forces in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq’s 2018 nati…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    An Evaluation of President Trump’s Emerging Counterterrorism Strategy

    Aug 30, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    President Trump’s counterterrorism strategy that relies on military solutions is unlikely to succeed in a region with complex politics, dubious allies, and lon…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Is the Turkey-Iran Rapprochement Durable in Iraq and Syria?

    Aug 24, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Given the historical nature of the Turkish-Iranian rivalry, a durable rapprochement between Turkey and Iran requires assurances about the future of the Kurds a…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqSecurity and Defense

    The Realities and Challenges of a New US SOFA with Iraq

    The United States and Iraq are currently negotiating a new Status of Forces Agreement that is contingent upon numerous domestic, regional, and American conditi…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Potential for Intercommunal Violence in Iraq and Syria

    Aug 9, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    The legacy of authoritarianism, the rise of sectarian sentiments, ethno-nationalist aspirations, communal grievances about government neglect, and outside inte…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    An Economic Explanation for Egypt’s Alignment in the GCC Crisis

    Aug 9, 2017Imad K. Harb

    With Egypt heavily reliant on Saudi Arabia and the UAE for its economic stability and survival, Cairo may not find much room for independent foreign policy dec…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Existential Questions: Iraq Gears up for Elections

    Aug 7, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    Iraqi political forces are beginning to come together, pick fights, ingratiate themselves with potential foreign patrons, and evaluate the mood of the country …

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    Mohammed bin Salman’s Elevation and the Way Forward

    Aug 1, 2017Imad K. Harb

    Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman faces serious challenges in affirming Saudi Arabia’s domestic stability and addressing the fallout from the GCC crisis and the…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Improving Iraq-GCC Relations: No Time Like the Present

    Jul 27, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    Iraq’ reintegration into the Arab world, particularly in terms of improving its relations with its Gulf neighbors, will support its stability as well as ensure…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The GCC Crisis: Media, Hacks, and the Emergence of “Cyber Power”

    Jul 25, 2017Tamara Kharroub

    Media tools have been employed heavily in the GCC crisis to suppress freedom of the press and expression, indicating a shift from military and soft power to a …

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Day after Mosul’s Liberation

    Crafting a new social and political order after the defeat of ISIL in Mosul, and elsewhere in Iraq, is a responsibility for the Iraqis, their allies, the regio…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Turkey’s Hard Choices in Syria and Iraq

    Jul 19, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkey finds itself in a strained position in post-Islamic State Syria and Iraq. It lacks leverage with Russia, the United States, and Iran and fears Kurdish a…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Stupendous Hubris…and Its Damage

    Jul 18, 2017Imad K. Harb

    Revelations in the Post article stand the entire GCC crisis on a new footing, now that tangible information has been made public and confirms the Qatari govern…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Qatar-US Memorandum of Understanding: A Game Changer

    Jul 11, 2017Imad K. Harb

    The MOU is a game changer and provides a significant milestone on the road to a political solution that preserves GCC unity, stability, and prosperity.

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfEducation and Development

    Youth Unemployment Remains the Main Challenge in the Gulf States

    Persistently high youth unemployment remains the chief domestic challenge facing the Gulf states. Efforts to encourage the private sector to absorb new entrant…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    The Independence Referendum: A Pyrrhic Victory for Barzani

    Jul 10, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    The Kurdish decision to hold a referendum on independence from Iraq may bring happiness to the Kurds but will come at a heavy price for the Kurdish leadership.

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Current Competing Dynamics in the GCC Region

    The competing strategic dynamics of Gulf and other actors complicate the current crisis and make its resolution contingent upon sometimes divergent interests.

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Absent Rationality in the GCC Crisis

    Jul 5, 2017Imad K. Harb

    Developments since last May have shown a careless disregard on the part of the Saudi Arabia-United Arab Emirates-Bahrain entente of the basic tenets of rationa…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The GCC in Turmoil: Repercussions of the Gulf Crisis on Iraq-GCC Relations

    Iraq and the GCC have a long history of cooperation as well as enmity. How has the relationship between Iraq and GCC nations developed and what is the impact o…